Sunday, September 27, 2015

the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House

Place: the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House
Location: 1090 Point Lobos (at the end of the Earth/Ocean Beach)
Hours: open for breakfast Monday - Saturday at 9:00am; open Sunday at 8:30am
Meal: Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ scrambled eggs, ham, potatoes, green onions, Cheddar cheese, served with fresh fruit; a cuppa (and two refillas) Peerless Coffee & Tea® (well, just the Coffee part); and a basket of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!)

(I may have already used this George Ivan song before [Once again, that would be "before today", Mr. Nosey Parker-Brandt.], but so what?! It's George Ivan. You got a problem with that?!)

As it's the last weekend in September (hence, the above George Ivan EweToobular reference) and the last week of Regular Season MLB is also upon us, I am closing out my Breakfastary Starting Rotation with yet still another return visit to the Bistro Restaurant at Cliff House (see last 'blog-entry from May 9th, 2015), and that always means a Perfect Game (or Grand Slam; you can choose your own Basebally metaphor) with more (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!).

Of course, I had them omit the dead, decaying porcine stuff from my scrambled egg dish (for which, they added extra potatoes, which are always more than welcome). This was very good as always, but they could literally serve me S.O.S. and I would still go back again and again because...

Today's basket of (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) contained FIVE (5!) (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!)! I saw fit to make sure all of them were eaten today, too. I actually finished all of the (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) before I finished the rest my meal just to make sure that I would have room for them. Usually, three (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) are more than sufficient for me, and four (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) are pushing it for my appetite, but I still wasn't going to waste any of them this morning. The beauty of this place is that if you would like even more, they will always bring out more.

Today's fresh fruit(s) were: grapes (of both the green/white and red variety), a (large) strawberry, watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe.

For condimentary supplements, the Bistro Restaurant has just Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce). I used some of my own Lucky Dog Medium Fire-Roasted Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on half of the scrambled mess and a full packet of Shing Kee Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (Thanks, Brian and some random Vietnamese sandwich shop from which I had lifted a few of these packets!) on the other half.

Cows in Berkeley? Penguins on Ocean Beach?!?

The above photo appeared yesterday on the Cliff House defacedbook page. There really was no explanation or follow-up story, but knowing that I was heading there this morning anyway, I made sure to check out just WTH(eck) this was all about. It is not a hoax in any way. According to a few of the credible workers at the Bistro Restaurant, this photo was really taken yesterday along Ocean Beach (in the little beach-cove area in front of where the Sutro Baths ruins are). It is either a photo of a verrrrry wayward Galapagos Penguin (Spheniscus mendiculus) or (more likely) a Common Murre (Uria aalge).

After breakfast, I made sure to make a hike down to the beach to investigate for myself. Unfortunately, from any visible footprints that were still on the beach (or lack thereof), I can neither confirm nor deny which bird it actually might have been. I like to think it really was a little Penguin-guy that was extremely lost and was taking a rest on our peaceful shore. (Hey, Chilly Willy lived in Alaska with Polar Bears; so anything is possible.) While there were no Penguins (nor Common Murres) seen this morning, I did see both a Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) and a Great Egret (Ardea alba) fishing for their own respective breakfasts in the small lagoon that has replaced the pool area of the old Sutro Baths.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Farmer's Breakfast Scramble ~ 6.6; (World) Famous Cliff House Popovers(!) ~ 8.3 (I normally rate these at 8.2, but I am giving this an additional 0.1 GBS Rating points for the quantity this morning); Penguins (if believable) on Ocean Beach ~ 8.9

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Breakfast on Geary (redux, again), Part 24

Place: aveline[1]
Location: 490 Geary Street (at Taylor Street)
Hours: open daily for breakfast at 6:30am; open Saturday and Sunday for "Brunch" at 11:00am 
(hint: I went for breakfast)
Meal: Avocado Toast ~ house bread, sunflower pesto, fresh herbs, over easy egg; a side of house seasoned potatoes; a glassa fresh (that is how they have it on the menu, but it meant "fresh-squeezed") orange juice; and, afterward, a large cuppa Philz Coffee (hot) Ginger Snap

("Avalon"... aveline... close enough for gub'mint work.)

I must have passed aveline about a hundred times recently and hadn't even noticed it was open for (a very early, if wanted) breakfast. It is a medium-sized place, and the house restaurant for the Warwick San Francisco Hotel. It's a relatively new restaurant (only open since June 2014). I liked that they were playing old Motown (the Supremes, the Jackson 5, etc.) and other 60's-70's songs on the house stereo this morning.

There really isn't a lot from which to choose on their breakfast menu (they may or may not offer different items on their "Brunch" menu, but I highly doubt that I will ever find out for myself); it is broken into two sections, "Sweet Tooth" (just four items) and "Savory Tooth" (another six items). Some of the other ideas that I was looking at: (from the "Sweet Tooth" portion) Country Style Griddle Cakes (fresh berries, strawberry syrup, vanilla butter); (from the "Savory Tooth" selections) Daily Omelet (today's daily ingredients were bell pepper, tomato, ham, and Cheddar cheese, with bacon and house seasoned potatoes; of course, I would have ordered this without either of the porky bits junk); or Cast Iron Sautéed Vegetables (seasonal vegetables, eggs your way).

I liked this meal. It was simple, but good. Avocado on toast ~ simple, but good. Over easy egg on top ~ simple, but good. Now the sunflower pesto was simply very interesting and tasty-good. 

I was glad that I had ordered the side of house seasoned potatoes, as this wasn't that large of a meal, otherwise. The potatoes were made with a nice medley of baby/new potatoes ~ red, purple (blue?), white, and yellow.

aveline only had Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (Original Red Sauce) for condimentary supplementation. I used some of my own Fat Cat Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on the potatoes and Marie Sharp's Grapefruit Pulp Habanero Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Mom!) on top of the egg (on top of the Avocado Toast).

I skipped any Coffee with breakfast, so after breakfast, I beat my feet down Market Street and went to the newest Philz Coffee location (on the corner of Market and Battery Streets). They have recently (as in just two weeks ago) started opening on Saturdays at 8:00am. I am not usually a sweet-flavoured Coffee fan, but the Ginger Snap is really pretty tasty(-good); I think they even add crushed up ginger snap cookies in the bottom of the cup. This drink is actually listed on their cold/iced Coffee menu, but I always ask for it hot. It is interesting to note that their paper (cardboard, whatever) Coffee cups are made double-wrapped so that there is never any need for an extra paper (cardboard, whatever) zarf[2].

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Avocado Toast ~ 6.4 (this is figuring in the nice potato medley... the Jackson 5 and Motown medley was nice, too); Philz Coffee (hot) Ginger Snap ~ 7.4


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numéro un:

"(La) aveline" means hazelnut or filbert in French. Why they don't offer anything on their breakfast menu made with hazelnuts, je ne sais pas.

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, رقم اثنين:

I have mentioned this Arabic cognate once before (as in "before today", Mr. Brandt) in a previous 'blog-entry. So, you can look it up yerdammself!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Cafe Golo ~ Boutique Cafe

Bourbon Brook take my brain?

(However, their web-site doesn't appear to be working currently.)

Place: Cafe Golo ~ Boutique Cafe
Location: 1602 Lombard Street (at Gough Street)
Hours: open daily at 8:00am
Meal: Breakfast Burrito[1] ~ eggs, tomatoes, onions, (bell) peppers, and cheese; a side of Country Potatoes; and, to start, a Blueberry-Mango Tart  

(It's still Johnette Napolitano's birthday on September 22nd. The second song kinda sorta goes along with the newest addition to my hot sauce collection: drunks & Whiskey/Bourbon. Whatever.

And, yes, it did occur to me that I could have used Willie Nelson's song as a EweToobular juxtaselection, but it wasn't his birthday this week.)

I went back to Cafe Gol~ Boutique Cafe (see previous 'blog-entry from May 3rd, 2015) for breakfast this morning. So there's that. I arrived about fifteen minutes after they had opened and I was still the first person there. I remained the lone diner almost the entire time I was there (which did give me ample time to ask [bother... potato ~ tomato] Miss PeeBee and Jay lots of stupid questions about their pastries, hot sauces, Whiskey/Bourbon in use in cooking, and also their new restaurant Grits); a couple of couples did come in just before I had finished eating, though.

Blueberry-mango is always a good combination. I have had this one before (a few times, probably). I went there planning on getting whatever they had to offer seasonally that included blueberries. Their Sweet Potato Tart is one of my favourites, so I also had to get one of those to go for laters. Miss PeeBee told me that last month they had figs highlighted in both their fresh fruit salads and in a pastry. It is my opinion that 'mericans in general (and privatley, Soldier) do not eat enough fresh figs. Miss PeeBee also told me that next month when persimmons[2] are in season they will be using it in their fresh fruit salads and also doing a pastry with that fruit. Jay explained to me later what he has planned: persimmons and cranberries in a sort of bread pudding made with with an oat-crumble base ~ nice! Of course, this just means that I might have to go back again next month to check that out.

This was a good-sized and good-tasting burrito. The eggs were simply of the scrambled variety (as that makes the most sense to be included inside the tortilla roll-up). I bet this would have been even better if they included some of their Country Potatoes in with all the other ingredients, too. Their Country Potatoes are made with both regular and sweet potatoes and really are awesome.

Cafe Golo offers a pretty good selection of condimentary supplements, but I had just received a brand-new (as in given to me yesterday) bottle of hot sauce and wanted to try it out this morning. Pope's Whiskey River Hot Sauce (Thanks, Amy and Chef Joe!) is from Shaker Heights, Ohio (which was hand-carried all the way back from that far-away land of the Cleves). I made sure to use a good amount of it with my burrito. It wasn't extremely spicy, but I could really taste the Bourbon in this, too. (°hic°) I also brought along a bottle of my Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce (Thanks agains, Amys and Brian!), which I made sure to use ketchup-like all over the potatoes.

A quick Grits update: they still have not opened up yet and Jay told me that it may be another six months now before they do so. Originally, it was supposed to have opened way back in April of 2014. I am looking forward to the new place (finally) opening. 

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Breakfast Burrito ~ 6.4; Blueberry-Mango Tart ~ 7.2; Sweet Potato Tart ~ 7.5; Pope's Whiskey River Hot Sauce ~ 6.8; 
Palo Alto Firefighters Pepper Sauce ~ 7.5


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist/pseudo-culinaristic pointer of the day:

The word "burrito" means "little donkey" in Spanish, as a diminutive form of "burro" (or "donkey"). The name burrito as applied to the dish possibly derives from the appearance of bedrolls and packs that burros/donkeys carried.

2. Like blueberries and cranberries (and tomatoes and pumpkins), persimmons are technically a botanical berry.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


(Sorry, there is no accompanying photo of grindz this morning. It seems that someone forgot to pack a camera this morning. I will not point any fingers or name any names.)

Location: 832 Clement Street (between 9th and 10th Avenues)
Hours: open for "Brunch" Saturday & Sunday at 9:00am
Meal: The Big Island ~ 2 eggs, 2 apple banana pancakes, Plantation Potatoes, & choice of: Portuguese sausage, SPAM®, Kalua pig, or bacon; and a cuppa (and three refillas) Bicycle Coffee co (I have no idea which roast/blend they serve, though; when asked, the Nepali [or Nepalese; take your pick, apparently both are correct] waiter-server guy said that he didn't know)

(Today's EweToobular juxtaselections should be easily figured out; it's common knowledge that Johnette Napolitano is one of Hawai'i's biggest native sons [or daughters] stars ~ right after Don Ho and Bruddah Iz, of course.

Nah. It's just that September 22nd happens to be Johnette's birthday and I felt like dedicating the song portion of this weekend's 'blog-entries to her music. Of course, "her music" here happens to be a coupla cover songs, but, whatever.)

Continuing along with my end of the season (that would be Regular MLB Season) workout of my Breakfastary Starting Rotation, I headed on over to grindz (see previous 'blog-entry from April 25th, 2015) for breakfast today. 

(Again, sorry, there is no photo of my breakfast this morning. Cut me some slack. I have only been doing this for five years now.)

This was the first time that I had ever ordered The Big Island before. I have had all of their other stupid vegetarian-friendly (or, at least, those that can be made stupid vegetarian-friendly) items from the menu a few times over now. I had my eggs prepared "over medium" this morning. This was a simple enough meal, but I did like that there were plenty of chopped (which they call "crushed") Macadamia nuts on top of the pancakes and coconut Crème Anglaise (as can be seen in the above photo... oh, wait...). 

I asked the Nepali (or Nepalese) waiter-server guy if I could get extra Plantation Potatoes in place of any of the dead, decaying meaty choices and they did supply me with a good amount of them. These were very good again, with lots of chopped celery, (white) onions, and red bell pepper pieces in them (the last visit there they had forgotten these extra ingredients).

As in the past, grindz has on all the tables their own Hawai'ian Spicy Ketchup for condimentary
supplementation. They also have their own bottles of chilli-vinegar, too. Because I have had it in the past and know it to be very tasty, I used a good amount of their homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) Hawai'ian Spicy Ketchup on the Plantation Potatoes. I also supplemented their supplementation with a little (and by "a little" I mean just the amount that would cover the end of a toothpick; this ended up being the perfect amount to add a bit o' heat, but not the uncomfort; and, at this rate, I may be able to finish off this bottle by the year 2525... if man is still alive, of course) of my own One Stop Hot Shop "Son of Smart Arse" Sauce (Thanks a lot, Cindy & Greg! [enter "sarcasm" emoji here] Luckily, no Korean [or Nepali (or Nepalese)] waiter-server guys were injured with this hot sauce this morning.). I also used some of my own Florida Gold Premium Habanero Hot Sauce (Thanks, Kerry! [no "sarcasm" emoji needed here]) on top of both of the eggs. In my opinion, the pancakes didn't really necessitate any supplementary heat. (Sure, I may have forgotten my camera, but I didn't forget to bring any of my own hot sauces with me. A man has got to know his limitations, Detective Callahan.)

While I was sitting there waiting for my breakfast, one of the other waiter-server guys (I am pretty sure he was an actual Hawai'ian [or Hawai'ianese] waiter-server guy) opened up the transom over the front door. This prompted the following dialogue with the Nepali (or Nepalese) waiter-server guy.[1]

Me: How do you say "transom" in Nepali?
Nepali (or Nepalese) waiter-server guy: What is a "transom"?

(Here is where I had to point to it and explain it to him as best as I could in my broken English. Apparently 
the Three Stooges weren't very big in Kathmandu when he was growing up.)

Nepali (or Nepalese) w-sg: Oh. Maybe "djalay". (I have no idea how that might actually appear in Nepali characters/letters.)

I did also ask him how to say "Thank you!" in Nepali, which is "धन्यवाद" and is pronounced much like it looks. I suppose that I should have asked the Nepali waiter-server guy what his name was, but I am sure that it would have been something unpronounceable, anyway.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: The Big Island ~ 6.7; Bicycle Coffee co ~ 7.2


1. To understand that particular completely à propos o' nuthin' request, see this previous 'blog-entry:

Sunday, September 13, 2015


"If you are ever mugged by a couple of clowns, don't hesitate… go for the juggler." ~ Phineas Taylor Barnum

(No official web-site.)

Place: Eats
Location: 50 Clement Street (on the corner of 2nd Avenue); phonicular contact: (415) 751-8000
Hours: open every day of the week at 8:00am
Meal: Chilaquiles ~ (v) fried tortillas [ sic ] chips, black beans, tomatillo salsa, pico de gallo, scrambled eggs, ricotta salata[1], sour cream, cilantro; and a glassa Fresh Strawberry Lemonade

(Again, like yesterday, there really is no reason for today's EweToobular songs; I just like Sarah Borges.)

Luckily, I was not the first one in line this morning for breakfast at Eats (see previous 'blog-entry from April 26th, 2015), so there was little chance of a repeat attack like yesterday from anyone on the sidewalk while waiting to be seated ~ there was one suspicious-looking Golden Retriever (who was waiting patiently outside while his humans stuffed their faces inside... without him). Besides, the local street-population/homeless situation in the Richmond may total all of three or four people tops, and I already know a few of them by name. 

Having eaten at Eats so many times now, there are only a few items (that are stupid (v)egetarian-friendly) left on their menu that I haven't had yet. There are still Huevos Rancheros ((v) fresh tomato salsa, beans, over easy eggs, pepper Jack, avocado, sour cream) or So Happy Hotcake ((v) lemon poppyseed pancake, strawberry compote, sour cream whip, balsamic reduction, powdered sugar).

As I have stated before, much like Tiramisù, the formula for Chilaquiles (see specific 'blog-entry from December 12th, 2013) can vary from restaurant-to-restaurant (and family-to-family). You won't see it presented the same way in different places usually. Today's version was something like a plate of breakfast nachos. I am used to this dish with more (red) sauce all over the top. This was still a great dish and they make a very good tomatillo salsa (with a nice little kick to it, too).

Before ordering, I asked the friendly, pretty waitress/server-lady (who I later found out from the guy sitting next to me was actually the friendly, pretty manager-lady; apparently they have kids in the same middle school class) if there would be too much food to also order a side of their Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes. She told me to hold off ordering until I saw the size of the dish. She was right, but their Excellent! Roasted Home Potatoes really are great, and if that was all they had on their menu, it would still be worth a return trip a few times a year.

Since my last visit, it looks like Eats has added a few more hot sauces to its condimentary supplements
repertoire. In addition to the San Francisco Triumvirate of Hot Sauces (Tabasco® Brand 
Pepper Sauce [Original Red], Cholula® Hot Sauce, and Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce), they now offer three types of El Yucateco®: Red Habanero Hot Sauce, Green Habanero Hot Sauce, and XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik®. I had come prepared with a couple of my own bottles of hot sauces; and, coincidentally enough, one of which was my own bottle of El Yucateco® XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik®. I ended up using some of their XXXtra Hot Sauce Salsa Kutbil-ik® on top of the pile. I later found out that was a mistake, as their tomatillo salsa was more than picante and flavourous enough all on its own merits. The friendly, pretty manager-lady saw my other bottle of Blair's After Death sauce with Liquid Fire and asked to try some. I warned her ahead of time (as she was going to pour it on some potatoes) to try just a toothpick's taste first, as it is one of those stupidly excessive hot sauces (which I had also found out the hard way after pouring some ~ too much ~ on my own potatoes the first time I ever tried it. Thanks a lot, Sean!). Mind you, I don't mind being responsible for the accidental death of some Korean waiter-guy, but I didn't want to be (ir)responsible for the hospitalization of any friendly, pretty manager-ladies. 

Plus, after I had finished eating, I noticed that Eats now has a new line of "Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup" from a company called Traina Foods; apparently they are a California-based company that specialises in dried food products and specifically sun-dried tomatoes. I tried a little of both the standard ketchup and also some of the Hot Sriracha ketchup. They were both pretty good; the sun-dried tomatoes make all the difference. I happened to mention to the friendly, pretty manager-lady that they were really very good and she ended up giving me a brand new bottle of the Hot Sriracha ketchup to take home.

Like my last visit to Eats, afterward I took a little stroll through the small Farmers Market that they have on Sunday mornings along Clement Street (between 2nd and 4th Avenues). I stopped at the same fresh-baked goods stall as I did last time and got another Mint-Mojito (Gluten-Free and Vegan) Doughnut for a breakfastary dessert. (I don't know why so many places stress they serve "Gluten-Free" stuff. Do they expect us to pay more for it if they actually charged for the gluten?) If I had known that was the same one I had tried before, I would have gotten one that was explained to me as a Dark Chocolate-Orange (made with Cointreau® in the ganache) doughnut (I don't think that one was "Vegan", though).

Moral of today's 'blog-story: 
A free bottle o' (Sriracha) ketchup is better than a kick in the pants (or pair of sunglasses to the head).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Chilaquiles ~ 6.7; Fresh Strawberry Lemonade ~ 6.6; Mint-Mojito doughnut (even if it was both "Gluten-Free" and "Vegan") ~ 6.6


1. Ricotta salata is a pressed, salted, dried, and aged variety of ricotta. It is milky-white and firm, and used for grating or shaving.

(I just love that there is a web-site called "".)

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dottie's True blue café

"Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. 
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. 
Wouldn't you like to get away? 
Sometimes you want to go 
Where no Juan knows your name..."[1] 

(Still no official web-site any longer. As can be seen in the above photo, sadly, Dottie's True blue café is officially for sale.)

Place: Dottie's True blue café
Location: 28 Sixth Street (on the corner of Stevenson Street, which is a little alley about halfway between Market and Mission Streets); 
phonicular contact: (415) 885-2767
Hours: open for breakfast Thursday through Monday at 7:30am
Meal: Black Bean Cakes and Eggs any style ~ topped with sour cream and pico de gallo, served with grilled chili-cheddar corn bread (which they have as two separate words, but I would normally write as oneword) and home fries (again, they have this as two words; whereas, I will normally stylise it as oneword, too), and jalapeño jelly; and a cuppa Coffee (and one-and-a-half refillas)

(There really is no reason for today's EweToobular song; I just like Rickie Lee Jones. She does mention "September" in the lyrics, so you can take that as a juxtaselection if you like.)

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to get up early and be first in line. I had arrived at Dottie's True blue café (see previous 'blog-entry from June 13th, 2015) about twenty minutes before they were due to open and no one else was waiting in line (if there is no line, I suppose you can't really say "no one else was waiting in line") yet. While I was standing at the closed gates looking over this weekend's fresh-baked goods selection (which they have on a large blackboard inside the entrance-way), one of the indigenous populace decided to start yelling at and berating me (for reasons her own drug-addled mind may have known) and even hit me with her sunglasses. She then threatened to hit me with her 24oz can o' Colt 45 (I knew there was little chance of her doing that and risk spilling her breakfast, though). The commotion brought a few of Dottie's employees to the door and Kurt ended up shooing the poor, crazy lady away. (Well, Kurt didn't refer to her as a "lady", but you get the idea.)

As for that list of fresh-baked goods this weekend, there were several good ideas (as always): Prohibition Whiskey Blueberry Crumb Cake (I think that poor street-lady may have partaken of half of that name already this morning); Miss Dottie's Cinnamon Streusel[2] Coffee Cake; 1919 Rum Runner Coconut Rum Bread Pudding (again, I think my friendly street-lady may have squeezed out some drops of that Rum for herself); 1929 Bronze Goddess-Banana Rum Caramel Sweet Roll; Raspberry Cream Cheese Muffin; Miss Dottie's Peach Blueberry Crumb Cake; Pear Cinnamon Roll; as well as several other choices.

I have had the Black Bean Cakes many times over the years. This is one of my favourites at Dottie's. I like to explain to people that these are something like a vegetarian version of a sausage patty (if the dead, decaying porky stuff were substituted with black beans and rice, I suppose). I styled my two eggs as over-medium. 

As I have stated many times before, Dottie's has a pretty decent condimentary supplementational selection. This always saves me the trouble of having to schlep any of my own bottles with me. I used a good amount of their Tabasco® Brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce on the homefries and a little Frank's® RedHot® Chile 'n Lime on top (well, if these were "over"-medium, I suppose this would be "on bottom") of both eggs.

Dottie's. Come for the food, stay for the street-show...

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Black Bean Cakes and Eggs any style ~ 6.9; grilled chili-cheddar corn bread with jalapeño jelly ~ 7.2


1. Many years ago, when I was stationed in Athens (the one in Greece, not the much more famous one in Ohio) with the Air Force (the U.S. Air Force, not the Greek Air Force ~ they were right next door to us, though), there was a guy doing his yearly Reservist Active Duty tour (I think he was there for two months in the summer) at our squadron. For some reason, he would call me "Scotty". I corrected him the first few times, but after he kept calling me "Scotty", I just let it go. One time a friend of mine (Hey, Jordan!) overheard him calling me "Scotty" and asked me what that was all about. I explained it as, "It's just easier this way, and I knew he was talking to me."

I presented that corn-ball story for a somewhat explanation of the stupid Cheers theme song paraphrase. Here is a recreation of a conversation I had with my waiter-server guy this morning after I had finished breakfast:

Me: Where is Juan this morning?
Waiter-server guy: Who?
M: "Juan". He's worked at Dottie's since it was still back on Jones Street.
W-sg: Oh, you mean "José". He's off until 9:00am today.
M: His name is "José"? I have always greeted him as "Juan" and he's never corrected me. Oops!

I guess José figured, "It's just easier this way, and I knew el gringo estúpido was talking to me."

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

"Streusel" is German meaning "something scattered or sprinkled", it comes from the verb "streuen" ("to scatter/sprinkle/spread"). The English word "strew" is a cognate.

I suppose you could say that my street-companion this morning was a bit "Streuen-Gehirn".

Monday, September 7, 2015


"The one with the potato scramble with bluelake[sic][1] beans, roasted beets, grilled carrots, and havarti (and add[ed] eggs)."

Place: Ella's Neo Classical American Cooking 
Location: 500 Presidio Avenue (on the corner of California Street)
Hours: open for breakfast Monday through Friday at 7:00am; open for "Brunch" Saturday and Sunday (and apparently on Monday holidays, too) at 8:30am
Meal: potato scramble ~ with Blue Lake beans, roasted beets, grilled carrots, and Havarti, and add(ed) eggs; and a glassa Ginger Orange Juice Punch

(Do I really need to explain today's EweToobular juxtaselection? 

Well, fine. It is a well-known fact that Ms. Fitzgerald was a big fan of potato scrambles and roasted beets.)

In continuing with the September Workout of my Breakfastary Starting Rotation, I went back to Ella's Neo Classical American Cooking (see last 'blog-entry from April 12th, 2015) this morning. For some reason, I had it in my mind that they opened at 8:00am (yeah, I have only been going there for fifteen to twenty years now) and I arrived there around 8:15am expecting there to already be a long line around the corner. However, unlike a normal Saturday or Sunday "Brunch" crowd, they weren't that busy when I first got there (read: there were only six other idiots waiting with me when I got there fifteen minutes before they opened).

For stupid vegetarians, there really are only a limited number of other ideas from which to choose. I could have gone with any of the following: open faced omelette (with shredded beef, grilled onion, oven roasted tomatoes, rosemary, and Swiss cheese; of course, skipping the shredded dead, decaying bovine stuff); folded omelette (with grilled prawns, sautéed mushrooms, sun dried tomato, and sharp white Cheddar cheese; again, I would have skipped the grilled dead, decaying marine insects); or possibly, if I felt like going sweet instead of savoury, peach & blueberry oatmeal pancakes (3).

I reckon that I get the weekend special potato scramble about three-out-of-five visits, which is not a bad thing at all. Plus, that they offer a great breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) choice that highlights potatoes is one of the reasons I keep going back all these years, anyway. Because I have had the potato scramble so often, I am pretty sure that I have had a similar (if not the exact) combination of ingredients before. It really didn't matter, though, like Lady Ella, beets are one of my favourite underground fruits, and if it is available in a meal, it will usually be my choice. I thought that grilling the carrots was a nice touch, too.

For a change, as my toast/bread side choice, I went with one of their house baked (restaurant-baked, whatever) buttermilk biscuits. It was very good, too, like all the rest of their fresh-baked goods.

For condimentary supplementation, Ella's only has Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce (both Original Red Sauce and Green [Jalapeño] Pepper Sauce). I just went with some of my own Lucky Dog Medium Fire-Roasted Pepper Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on half of the pile and some Fat Cat Strawberry Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Cindy & Greg!) on the other half of the pile. They also have their own homemade (restaurant-made, whatever) jam on all the tables; today's jam was a tasty strawberry one and I put it to good use on both halves of the buttermilk biscuit.

Another Breakfastary Dessert Sojourn to Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate Park

Having finished breakfast ("Brunch", whatever) early enough, I decided I wanted to go to Golden Gate Park and walk around San Francisco Botanical Garden for a bit. As it was still early enough before all the weekend/holiday crowds hit the streets, I was able to find an available parking space just a block away along Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. I happened to notice that the Japanese Tea Garden was open already for the morning (and because it was still before 10:00am, it is free to the public, which is always nice), so I headed over there first before going to San Francisco Botanical Garden. I was still a bit peckish (and didn't even need to curtail any of my Walpoing activities), so I figured I would hit the Tea House first for a little breakfastary dessert before walking around. I had me a cuppa their Hojicha[2] ("originated in Kyoto and is distinguished from other Japanese teas because it is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal, whereas, others are typically steamed. Bancha, a summer crop tea harvested after sencha, is fired at a high temperature, turning the leaves from green to brown. Hojicha has an earthy, nutty, slightly smoky flavor.") and some Kuzumochi ("House-made sweet rice cakes in assorted flavors"; six pieces, two each of: Green Tea, Strawberry, and Mango).

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: potato scramble ~ 6.9; Hojicha ~ 6.8; Kuzumochi (they were all good, but I liked the Mango the best) ~ 6.7; Japanese Tea Garden ~ 8.0


1. Yeah, I had no idea what the heck they were supposed to be either. Actually they are called "Blue Lake (two words) beans". I was a little disappointed when they came out and they were just ordinary green beans with some fancy name. There really aren't enough blue

2. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day:

Surmising (and correctly, I am happy to state) that the "cha" part of "Hojicha" might mean "tea" in Japanese, I asked one of the server-person guys (after making sure he was actually Japanese) if this was the case. He told me that yes, this was the case. 

Like yesterday's (à propos o' nuthin') stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer about "opera", the word for "tea" is pretty universal and derives from the Chinese word "" (which is pronounced as either "cha" or "tey", depending on the dialect/region). Not only is the word the same in Japanese, they use the exact same Chinese character for it: "" (the Japanese also have "お茶", which is pronounced "ocha").

I have even made a separate 'blog-entry specifically on tea (see 'blog-entry from June 18th, 2012).

Sunday, September 6, 2015

higher grounds coffee house

(No official [or unofficial] web-site available.)

Place: higher grounds coffee house ~ a nice little place to eat (or higher grounds coffeehouse or higher ground ~ a coffeehouse; take your pick)
Location: 691 Chenery Street (on the corner of Diamond Street); phonicular contact: (415) 587-2933
Hours: open daily at 8:00am
Meal: Cannelloni[1] (crêpe) ~ cheese (they don't specify it on the chalkboard menu, but I am guessing that this was Cheddar; I really forgot to check), onion, mushroom, spinach, cottage cheese (which may have actually been Ricotta cheese, as they offer that on a different style crêpe and that would be the standard filling in the pasta dish "Cannelloni"), Marinara (savory crêpes served with potatoes [of the homefries variety] & salad [of the rabbit-food variety]); and a cuppa their own very good (Coffee)house blend/roast

(For today's EweToobular juxtaselection, you will just need to read on a bit further to the end where I make another Strange Interlude, Eugene.)

I went back to higher grounds coffee house ~ a nice little place to eat (or higher grounds
coffeehouse or higher ground ~ a coffeehouse; they have it stylized a few different ways on their signage) (see previous 'blog-entry from November 9th, 2014) this morning to have a nice little bit to eat.

There was the same guy (the owner, I assume) working the counter-register/Espresso machine/grill all by himself again this morning. (Another guy did come in around 8:45am to help out behind the counter; however, by then, everyone had already ordered and had been mostly served, and the owner-guy still finished up all the rest of the cooking that was needed.) The place really filled up pretty quickly on a Sunday morning and all of the tables (inside and outside) were occupied by 8:30am (these people really need to get lives). There was also the same little white poodle in the corner with his group of human friends.

They offer several other interesting-sounding ideas: 

  • Puttanesca (tomato, olives, onion, mushroom, garlic, capers, red pepper [I am pretty sure that means of the chilli-er kind and not the bell type], parsley, olive oil, sour cream; I will probably get this one the next time I go back there; and there will definitely be a next time; if this place were a little closer, it would totally be Breakfastary Starting Rotation-worthy); 
  • Florentine (cheese, spinach, cottage cheese, onion);
  • Alla Milanese (tomato, eggplant, Mozzarella, onion, black pepper, olive oil, spices); 
  • Curry (bell pepper, cheese, onion, sour cream, potato; they don't state it on the menu, but I am sure there are some kinda curry-spices involved there, too); 
  • Simply Italian (Mozzarella, Parmesan, basil, spices, salt, pepper, olive oil, zucchini); or 
  • Apple Cheese (cheese, apple, brown sugar, cinnamon). 

All of these can be made as either crêpes or omelettes. Of course, the last one would make a rather strange omelette, even for my bizarre tastes (but I am not ruling it out entirely for a future visit).

This crêpe was another big hit with me, and just one more good reason to return again (one of these days). The Marinara sauce was very tasty, too. I think the owner-guy is actually of Arab descent, but he seems to have a very good take on la cucina di Bella Italia.

If I had one little complaint (I didn't, but if i did), it would have been that the homefries weren't cripsy (read: burned) enough for my liking. This can be more than explained by the fact that the lone owner-guy had to prepare three to four servings of homefries from scratch all at the same time (to be honest, I would really rather have had homefries prepared from potatoes instead).

Not that it really matters, but they no longer charge $2.07 for a cuppa Coffee as they did last year. They have raised the price to an even $2.50 (which is more than worth the price here, anyway, as it is a great cuppa and an extra large cuppa, too) now. I noticed that they also offer a Borgia on their Espresso drinks menu.

higher grounds coffee house (or higher grounds coffeehouse or higher ground ~ a coffeehouse) only offers Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce as a condimentary supplement, but they do have Tellicherry[2] Black Pepper Grinders on most of the tables (which I made sure to put to good use all over the crêpe, potatoes, and rabbit-food stuff). I just used some of my own Fat Cat Chairman Meow's Revenge (Scorpion Pepper Sauce) (Thanks, Greg & Cindy!) on only half of the crêpe and some Hot Licks® Serrano Hot Sauce (Thanks, Brian!) on the homefries.

A Strange Operatic Interlude

Just because I thought of it recently (and this is really 
à propos of nuthin' else), have you ever noticed that the word for "opera"[3] is a cognate in almost all languages? They all come from the same Italian word "opera". Ferinstance:

Norwegian/Polish/Slovak/Slovenian/Somali/Swedish/Turkish/Uzbek/Welsh/Zulu ~ "opera" (in case you didn't notice it, that would be "opera" from "A" to "Z")
Albanian ~ "operë"
Ukrainian ~ "опера"
Catalan ~ "òpera"
Esperanto ~ "opero" (them damn Esperantonians just have to be different from the rest of the Europeans)
Estonian ~ "ooper"
Finnish ~ "ooppera"
French ~ "opéra" (and the damn Frenchies aren't any better than the damn Esperantonians)
German ~ "Oper"
Greek ~ "όπερα"
Icelandic/Portuguese/Spanish ~ "ópera"
Maltese ~ "opra"
Romanian ~ "operă"
Winfrey ~ "Oprah"

Just never get lost in Pest (or Buda, even) and try to find out where their "Opera" is located.

Glen Bacon Scale Rating: Cannelloni (crêpe) ~ 6.9; higher grounds coffee house (or higher grounds coffeehouse or higher ground ~ a coffeehouse) house Coffee ~ 6.9


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, numero uno:

"Canneloni" is simply Italian for "large reeds".

2. Apparently, the town of Thalassery (formerly Tellicherry), on the Malabar Coast of India, was well-known for its black pepper trade.

3. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, dualitas:

The Italian word "opera" comes from the plural of the Latin word "opus", which means "service, work".